Nobody Says...

I'm attempting a refocus of my career goals this month. I've considered a variety of approaches, but concluded the following: Mostly, I need to clean up my personal space, and get some sort of healthy schedule to my life so that when opportunity DOES knock-- in whatever form it takes-- I'm ready. I intend to come from (and return to) a place that is clean, that is friendly and inviting, that is somewhat organized, and that I can be proud to say represents me and how I exist in the world. And that goes for both my physical home and my mental/spiritual space as well. I want to see my best qualities reflected in my space so that I can dwell on that picture of me, and put my best foot forward into the world for others to see.

I also came to some conclusions about why this has been such a challenge for me thus far:
Nobody prepares you for this stuff, growing up. Nobody tells you that it's probably going to be a while before you really get to where you want to be in your career and your relationships. That whatever it is you just spent a whole lot of time training for, and went into serious debt to become, is probably NOT what you'll actually get to DO in your lifetime. Nobody teaches you healthy ways to cope with and overcome all the daily and extreme situational stress that is part of an adult's decision-making process. And nobody explains WHY a sense of humor and a positive outlook are so important to finding personal happiness and success.

(I now think that it's because we can either laugh or cry at the bizarre and unexpected in our lives-- and that if we aren't actively looking for the positives, they can often be easy to overlook-- and life is a lot more hopeful when we can enjoy the little daily victories with as much verve as the occasional big success stories.)

As a friend of mine recently said about an event in her life, THIS ISN'T COVERED IN THE MANUAL!!! It's true that as you get to be an adult, you gain access to a much wider variety of choices. But it's also true that the repercussions of those choices also become much bigger... and that often the choices we have in a given situation are not the ones we expect-- or even want. Hmmm... I COULD spend my free afternoon doing yardwork in the middle of a 100* heat wave... or I could stay inside where it's cool, drinking ice tea and catching up on the last three months of business news and new tech tools for my profession-- and risk getting a fine and a notice from the local HOA. Or I could risk both being obsolete at work AND getting into trouble at home-- to go spend the afternoon hiking around cool and beautiful waterfalls with a good friend I haven't seen in months. Hmmm...

Maybe "adult" is how old you have to be for all the pieces of your life to finally start fitting together. I wouldn't know. I have figured out what sorts of things I want to do with my life, and how I personally define "Abundance," and how a budget works, and what it means to take personal responsibility for my choices and actions... But I haven't figured out how to fit all of those things together into Abundant Living-- into the life I envision for myself. Luckily, I can embrace my "not yet adult" status, and enjoy playing with paints and fabrics, going to the park and the zoo and the beach, and staying up late to have deep meaningful conversations with people I hardly know. Truthfully, I hope to bring these joys with me into my "adult phase"... Maybe I already have.

In the meantime, and as a part of my dedication to right living, I've just started attending a regular Yoga class. This is my first Yoga class for and about me. It's an opportunity to work on my flexibility and muscle tone, to work on my physical health and my mental focus, my balance, my range of motion, etc etc... but it's also an opportunity for me to work on grounding and centering myself. I would dearly like to feel more grounded and centered. And I know yoga will help me with that so far as mental discipline goes.

...But it has also clarified for me that being grounded in my life is different from being grounded in my mind/body, and that I've made great leaps of progress toward being "grounded," without yet reaching it fully. Be it a small corner of a shared bedroom, the kitchen that is really YOUR SPACE, or a whole condo to yourself-- your home space is where you put down your roots. And feeling rooted-- having a space that nourishes and nurtures you-- is the basis for feeling grounded, and acting from a place of strength. It is the space to which we can retreat when we need to think, or to experience an overwhelming emotion. It is our safe space, and the place that allows us complete control and complete honesty.

Without a space of my own, I just don't feel grounded. I don't feel like I'm pushing outward into the world from a solid foundation. And sometimes, even if I do have my own space, the quality of it can be just as influential. Right now, for example, there is a large and untidy pile of papers that need to be sorted into keep, toss, shred, recycle. Mixed into the papers are dirty socks, half-completed art projects, library books, and a sewing machine. The chaos appalls me. I want to retreat to serenity, to a space that is organized and usable from the moment I arrive in it. Right now, I think my space is simply reflecting my sense of confusion, and unrest. My current lack of commitment to a specific project or path. Organizing this space will go a long way toward organizing my approach to life in general. I'm hoping it'll help me clarify my priority of commitment to paths and projects, as well.

What does your space say about your mental state? About your commitment to spending time and energy on YOU? When was the last time you felt truly at home in your home? What do you need to change so that you can feel that coming home is truly a chance to rest and recharge? Your life has got to be about you, and about the things/people that YOU value. I hope your name made it onto that mental list.

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